Asiafruit Congress ON attracted more than 4,200 views

Asia Fruit Logistica ON’s high-quality content programme was a key attraction for visitors to the digital edition of Asia’s premier fresh produce trade show on 18-20 November 2020. 

Asia Fruit Logistica ON recorded more than 15,000 visits across all sessions of the programme, according to event organiser Global Produce Events. 

Asiafruit Congress ON, the digital edition of Asia’s premier fresh produce conference event, attracted more than 4,200 views alone, setting the scene for the trade show

Asiafruit Congress ON livestreamed on 17 November, kicking off with a look at how Asia’s fresh produce business has also been going digital this year.

The keynote session, which attracted the most views for the event, was opened by Kantar’s retail, sales and shopper practice lead for South-East Asia, Annabel Robertson, who shared her expert insights on the digitalisation of fresh food retail across Asia, and the evolution of digital routes to market during the pandemic.

The session also looked at how digitisation of the supply chain can deliver end-to-end transparency. In an interview with Fruitnet’s managing director Chris White, DiMuto chief executive Gary Loh explained how his company is using blockchain technology to solve many of the issues in today’s fresh produce supply chain.

Wageningen University’s head of plant sciences, Ernst van den Ende, set the scene for the second session of Asiafruit Congress ON, ‘Green future: new production models’, which explored innovations leading the way to a sustainable farming future. The session featured expert perspectives on vertical farming from Jan Doldersum of Rijk Zwaan and Signify’s Jarno Mooren, and on breeding apple and pear varieties for a warming climate from Gavin Ross of Plant & Food and Peter Landon-Lane of T&G Global.

Other sessions zoned in on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on shopper behaviour in Asia, and on the fresh produce trade across key markets in the region.

Visitors also took advantage of the extensive information opportunities on offer at Asia Fruit Logistica ON’s daily online hall forums running from 18-20 November.

Asiafruit Business Forum

Asiafruit Business Forum offered visitors practical advice and takeaway messages for managing their business with a three-track programme. Sessions on day one were themed around ‘The Supplier’, day two turned the focus on ‘The Consumer’ while day three featured a special event from Global Women Fresh.

The opening session to Asiafruit Business Forum, which looked out how seed breeding specialist Syngenta is shaping the future of varietal development, attracted the most views. Ged Sippel, the company’s head of vegetables seeds for Japan, Taiwan, South Korea & Australasia, provided a fascinating insight into the process behind innovation in seed development.

“The value chain is ultimately what it’s all about, from an R&D perspective right through to getting consumer approval,” said Sippel. “All value chain members must benefit from each R&D outcome. We’re dedicated to not only looking at the ground level – the R&D level – but also what supports consumer interests and bringing those innovations forward.”

Smart Horticulture Asia

Smart Horticulture Asia focused on opportunities for high-tech horticulture, with day one focusing on ‘Vertical Farming’, day two themed around ‘Autonomous Growing and Robotic Harvesting’ and day three dedicated to ‘Data-Driven Supply Chains’.

Day one’s sessions on ‘Vertical Farming’ attracted the most views for the forum. The five sessions brought together expertise from all over the world, and chair of Smart Horticulture Asia, Harrij Schmeitz opened the first day suggesting that vertical farming has the potential to not just change but completely disrupt the way fresh produce is consumed.

Exemplifying the potential change this sector could bring to the fresh produce industry was Ard van de Kreeke, chief executive of Netherlands-based Growx. Van de Kreeke detailed the start-up’s unique, fully automated operations and discussed the wider industry and his view that vertical farming is at a “tipping point”.

Cool Logistics Asia

Cool Logistics Asia spotlighted key developments and trends in perishable logistics and cold chain management. ‘Transport Capacity’ was the headline theme on day one, while day two examined ‘New Opportunities and Logistics Solutions for Perishables’, and the programme wrapped up on day three with a session on the impact of technology and e-commerce on the logistics sector.

Sessions on Transport Capacity polled the highest number of views at the forum
. Keynote speaker André Simha, global chief digital and information officer at Mediterranean Shipping Company (MSC), discussed what it means to move cargo in the digital age. In his presentation, Simha extolled the importance of collaboration across the industry as a key factor in the future of refrigerated transport.

“The three main challenges we have…are volumes, changing the game, and the fact it’s not just about containers,” he told attendees. “How can we continue to feed the world in a smarter and fairer manner? As an industry we have two options – each of us can go about it on our own, or we can do it together.
“If we do it on our own, we will all invest substantial amount of money in people, and in the end our customers will not reap the benefits,” he continued. “If we do it together, we can share some of the costs and research, and ensure we give our customers a solution on time.”

He acknowledged that it could be difficult for some to invest in digitalisation, but warned that only mass adoption of digital practices throughout the business would make it accessible to everyone.

National Campaign Tracks

As well as the curated content at Asia Fruit Logistica ON, exhibitors presented their own videos, showcases and seminars.

Peru was the Official Partner Country to Asia Fruit Logistica ON, with export promotion agency PromPeru promoting its ‘Superfoods from Peru’ campaign via an online cooking demonstration and other activities.

Hort Innovation spearheaded Australia’s presence under the Taste Australia National Campaign Track, which attracted much attention.

“The Taste Australia track offered an array of media to suit all audiences,” said Hort Innovation’s international brand manager, Laura Davies. “The programmes included showcasing our key export commodities through the Taste Australia retail marketing programme and providing highlight reels of our exhibiting Australian exporters. We were also able to leverage our partnership with Austrade by offering an ASEAN market insights webinar delivered by Amelia Walsh, Austrade’s trade and investment commissioner – Singapore.”

Italy and France also hosted National Campaign Tracks under the ‘European Art of Taste’ and ‘European Rendez-Vous’ banners respectively.

Asia Fruit Logistica ON’s content streams remain available to view on-demand at the Asia Fruit Logistica ON platform until 5 December. This includes sessions from Asiafruit Congress ON and the online hall forums Asiafrut Business Forum, Smart Horticulture Asia and Cool Logistics Asia.